(via How Java dumps useless add-ons and toolbars on PC users | Ars Technica)
Remember the Ask search engine? Oracle sure does—and by extension, so do Java users. Oracle has taken the practice of bundling useless add-ons and toolbars with legitimate software to new heights while collecting a commission each time it tricks a user into installing an Ask toolbar.
That’s what Windows expert and legendary skeptic Ed Bott of ZDNet reports after examining Java’s installation and update practices. Bott has done extensive reporting on “foistware,” previously crowning Adobe and Skype as the worst offenders. But over the past year, Adobe and Skype have reformed themselves a little bit, while Oracle’s Java now deserves the crown for “king of foistware,” he wrote today.
“The evidence against Oracle is overwhelming,” Bott wrote, continuing:
- When you use Java’s automatic updater to install crucial security updates for Windows, third-party software is always included. The two additional packages delivered to users are the Ask Toolbar and McAfee Security Scanner.
- With every Java update, you must specifically opt out of the additional software installations. If you are busy or distracted or naïve enough to trust Java’s ‘recommendation,’ you end up with unwanted software on your PC.
- IAC, which partners with Oracle to deliver the Ask toolbar, uses deceptive techniques to install its software. These techniques include social engineering that appears to be aimed at both novices and experienced computer users, behavior that may well be illegal in some jurisdictions.
- The Ask.com search page delivers inferior search results and uses misleading and possibly illegal techniques to deceive visitors into clicking paid ads instead of organic search results…
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